Nothing to do with the recipe I am presenting today, but the other night we went to check the newly opened Tokyo midtown Hibiya. A new building with many shops, a large Toho cinema and a terrace garden with a view on Hibiya park and the imperial palace. The place just opened so it was very crowded in apparence but the overall place was quiet and walking around was smooth and nice. Shops are for the most the same as elsewhere. Brand names, big and small, chains. Nothing really to impressive. The only thing that I found fun and interesting was the retro corner on the 3rd floor, with some craft, a barber, a book store and some sculptural clothes.
There is one trend tough that I find quite interesting. 15 years ago when we arrived in Tokyo there a few cinemas, mainly old, that little by little were closing down, until it was a real pain to find one. Recently many of the new shopping places downtown have a large dedicated cinema. Toho cinemas are really spreading and now it is really easy to find a screening in original version too. Yet movies release is still super delayed compared to other countries and we usually watch the “new” movies on the international itunes store before they are available in Japanese theaters!!! And what to eat with a good movie? Pasta or a good and simple Japanese vegan meal with rice and sautéed vegetables. To celebrate spring I really like snap peas, for the crunchy texture, the little tart and sweet taste, and the brillant green. And I also love the salted sakura flowers with rice in particular, but not only ( I made some sable last weekend and it was great!). And since I still have some lotus root (I bought a giant one!) I cooked the all thing to be served together. Sautéed in a little of oil for the lotus root, then add a little of water to steam the snap peas on top, finish with soys sauce. For the sakura, I wash the salt in water and add them to the cooked and hot rice. Serve all and eat happily while watching a movie!!